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Life Without Football (Part one of two)


Northeastern’s first fall sports season without a football team is about to begin. How do we get to our beloved winter sports with no football team? Why, with the “other” two kinds of football of course.


The e-mail was sent out in late November last year, addressed “To the Northeastern Community” and titled “A Message From Athletic Director Peter Roby.” The message, in short summary, was that Northeastern no longer had a football program. There would be no 2010 Northeastern Huskies Football. It was eloquent, and did a good job of explaining the reasoning behind the decision.


None of it should have surprised a soul. A Division I football program is an expensive undertaking, and it takes a lot of work to get a program to the point that the revenue it draws in offsets the cost. Northeastern’s situation wasn’t going to work forever. Nobody wanted it to go, but it had to go.


That might leave the sports fans in this “Northeastern Community” wondering what now? Hockey season doesn’t officially start until October 8, and basketball season tips off in mid-November. (November 16, against Southern Illinois.) Well, there’s always football.


…No, not the kind we know, the other ones. Both “pitch football” and rugby are sports that Northeastern has participated in for a long time now. The rugby team—a club sport that started in 1984—is a serious group that took home a significant trophy this past spring and is looking to continue a tradition that involves national rankings and winning seasons.


The Maddogs (being a club team, they’re allowed to choose their own name if they see fit, and good luck telling a rugby player otherwise) are a true club team. Their website asks students to inquire, saying “no experience necessary.” So there may be somebody at their first game (September 18 against BC) that is playing his first actual match. Did I mention this is a consistently top-notch rugby club? They won a tournament called “Beast of the East” back in April.


Varsity men’s soccer got started on September 3 at Georgetown, falling by a score of 2-1. The team is still looking for its first win of the season, having also lost at Maryland. They don’t come to Parsons Field until the 21st against Providence. The women’s team had their regular season begin against national powerhouse South Carolina on August 22nd, losing by a 3-0 score, but rebounded with three straight wins over Bryant, Rhode Island and Brown before dropping a 0-1 decision to Dartmouth. Their next home game is on the twelfth, against Lafayette.


(Coming later this week: football after Northeastern – who to root for in absence of the Huskies.)

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